Real Salt Lake ruins Galaxy's title celebration

By Greg Beacham

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, March 10 2012 10:50 p.m. MST

Real Salt Lake forward Paulo Junior, middle, dribbles the ball through Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Sarvas, left, and Galaxy defender Tommy Meyer, right, during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Saturday, March 10, 2012, in Carson, Calif.

Bret Hartman, Associated Press

CARSON, Calif. — Javier Morales scored the go-ahead goal in the 80th minute, Fabian Espindola added another late score, and Real Salt Lake spoiled the defending MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy's season opener with a 3-1 victory Saturday night.

David Beckham's dazzling pass set up Edson Buddle's goal on a header for the Galaxy in the 71st minute, but Sean Franklin's own-goal moments later evened it for Salt Lake, which lost to Los Angeles last season in the Western Conference final.

Morales then capitalized on a miscommunication in Los Angeles' defense to score the winner, banging a short shot past Josh Saunders in the box.

Espindola got another in the 85th minute on the run, celebrating in front of Real's small band of traveling supporters. The Galaxy had several late chances, but Salt Lake handed the Galaxy their first home loss in 26 matches since Nov. 14, 2010, thoroughly ruining a celebratory night for Beckham and Los Angeles' star-studded roster.

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